Sunday, February 9, 2014

2/7-Michael Jordan visits with Peter Mondavi Jr. & Rick Longoria

Peter Mondavi Jr. - Charles Krug Winery
Now under the guidance of Peter Mondavi Sr., the Charles Krug Winery honors its roots while forging ahead to the future. From the Wild West to the twenty-first century, relatively crude beginnings gave way to the finest form of winemaking.

Founded in 1861 by Charles Krug, the 27-year old Prussian immigrant came to America with little besides willpower and a willingness to work hard to build the cornerstone of the first winery in the Napa Valley. He became the major local winery figure of his era, greatly influencing Napa Valley's development as a world-renown wine producing region.

His leadership was said to be inspirational and his ideas innovative. Charles Krug introduced the cider press for winemaking, the first of which is still on display at the winery. He carefully selected rootstocks, varietals and vineyard sites - a novel concept in late 19th century America. 

After his death in 1892, James Moffitt held the winery in proprietorship through Prohibition. By 1943, he found a pioneering spirit in Cesare Mondavi, an Italian immigrant with a passion for wine, and sold the winery to his family for $75,000.

At 60 years old, Cesare Mondavi spearheaded a dramatic renaissance in the decade that followed. Wine historian Charles Sullivan writes in his book, Napa Wine, “By the early 1950s it was irrefutable that the Valley's Big Four had been augmented by one - the Charles Krug Winery”.

Cesare died in 1959 leaving Rosa as President with sons Robert as General Manager and Peter as Vice President. In 1966, Robert moved south to Oakville and began construction of his own winery. Upon Rosa's death in 1976, Peter became President of the winery. 

Peter's industry innovations from his studies at Stanford and Berkeley included revolutionary research on cold fermentation, enabling the production of exceptionally crisp, fruity white wines. His pioneering efforts to plant vineyards in the Carneros region with chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, cold sterile filtration techniques and aging wine in small French oak barrels contributed to his being named one of the twelve “Living Legends” in 1999 by the Napa Valley Vintners Association.

Above all else, Charles Krug Winery is a family winery. Peter Sr. and his sons Marc and Peter Jr. continue their dedication to producing the finest Bordeaux style wines in the Napa Valley. To achieve this, they initiated a nine-year, $22 million investment program completed in 2010. Over 400 of the winery's 850 prime acres in Napa Valley have been re-planted and state-of-the-art winemaking equipment is now in use.
VALENTINE’S DAY PROMOTIONS: Wines for your Sweetheart
This Valentine's Day send that someone special a gift they are sure to love, wine from the Charles Krug winery!
Please order by Tuesday February 11th, for standard ground delivery by Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day 3-pack
·         2012 Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc
·         2011 Napa Valley Merlot
·         Lot XVII Zinfandel Port
$95 / Club $76. Shipping is just $10.
Valentine's Day 6-pack
Two bottles each of the same great wines, plus an even better shipping deal.
$190/ Club $152. Shipping included.

Established in 1982, Longoria Wines is a small family owned winery producing acclaimed artisanal wines from some of the finest vineyards in Santa Barbara County. Pioneer winemaker Rick Longoria has been involved in the local wine industry since 1976. His wines are distinctive for their purity of varietal and site expression, balance and compatibility with food. Visitors are welcome at the Longoria Tasting Room located downtown in the village of Los Olivos (open daily) and the Longoria Winery located in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto (open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).
Rick Longoria / Biography -  The son of an Air Force enlisted serviceman, Rick was born at Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, Nevada. The family later moved to air bases in Wyoming, Minnesota, Alaska, and finally to Los Angeles, California. Rick completed his high school years in Lompoc, and entered college at UC Santa Barbara. After two years he transferred to UC Berkeley, where he graduated in 1973 with a degree in Sociology.
It was during his student days at Berkeley that he discovered the wine country of Sonoma and Napa. The bucolic countryside, and the sights and smells of the wine cellars attracted Rick. He had absorbed much of the philosophies of the counterculture during his college days, and the craft of winemaking seemed to embody many of them. Not knowing anything about the business, Rick shelved his daydreams to the back of his consciousness in favor of plans to obtain a law degree. Rick decided to take a year off before entering law school, and traveled to South America. Rick traveled throughout Colombia and Ecuador for nearly five months. It was during this trip that he came to realize that his heart was not in law but rather the possibility of working in a winery. When he returned he sent dozens of inquiries to wineries looking for work. He got lucky and was hired as a rookie cellarman at one of his favorite wineries, the historic Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma.
It was here at Buena Vista that he met the famed winemaker, Andre Tchelistcheff, who was the consultant there. Andre saw the enthusiasm and motivation Rick had and took an interest in helping his career. Andre told Rick about the new Firestone winery he was consulting for in Santa Barbara County. Andre was very excited about the potential of this new wine region. Having spent part of his teen years in the area, Rick was intrigued about moving back and still staying in the wine business. After Andre told him that the Firestone winery was looking for a cellar foreman, Rick interviewed, received the job and moved to Los Olivos in May 1976.
Rick met his wife Diana at Firestone and they were married in 1977. Soon after he decided to seek a more responsible position in Northern California, and took the job of Cellarmaster at Chappellet Vineyards in the Napa Valley in 1978.  Though Rick enjoyed his time at Chappellet, the contrast in styles between Napa Valley and Santa Ynez Valley made Rick realize that he felt more at home in the less hectic, more down to earth Santa Ynez Valley. Rick found out about a position at a new small winery, J. Carey Cellars, was hired on the spot as the winemaker and moved back to the Valley in May 1979.
The portfolio at J. Carey Cellars consisted of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. By this time in the development of the wine regions in Santa Barbara County, it was becoming clear that the initial successes were coming from the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Rick was making neither of those at J. Carey Cellars, so in 1982 he decided to start his own brand to focus on just those two varietals.
In 1985, Rick became the winemaker for The Gainey Vineyard, a new state of the art winery located on the 3600 acre Gainey Ranch. Over the next twelve years Rick enjoyed much success in producing some of the best wines in the area and thereby establishing Gainey as one of the region's top wineries.
In 1997 Rick and Diana felt like it was time to devote their full energies to their small wine business, and both left their jobs to build their business into what it is today.
The holiday of passion, romance and love. We feel those three wonderful things can be enhanced with our 2010 Syrah Vino Dulce.
This glorious port-style wine is sweet with balanced acidity and a long lingering finish that will make your Valentine's Day even more memorable.
Our harvest intern and tasting room associate, Emily, baked us a rich flourless chocolate cake that is pure heaven with our Vino Dulce. Our whole staff heartily recommends it.
Other suggested pairings are Blue Castello cheese, dark chocolate and candlelight.
Retail Price: $23 Club Price: $19.55
Get your 2010 Syrah Vino Dulce

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